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The Rooted Bed


When the medics lifted your lean body
that once loped over hot sand to the sea,
I wanted them to keep you on our bed

like the one that waited for Odysseus.
He'd carved the bedpost from an olive tree,
alive, still rooted to the earth. For ours,

you'd found a board cut from an oak
and sanded it until it shone like wheat,
a platform for the mattress, unobtrusive

under a quilt, yet there, your handiwork.
In sickness you lay on the rooted bed.
It never moved, just as we stayed put

in one apartment, and heard things rise:
Schubert's Impromptus on a stereo
you'd built, rooted with electric wires

and plugs to be immovable as well,
a pigeon that chirred on the high sill
(you called it a rock dove), until it flew,

Grand lllusion on a video played
over until we memorized the lines.
The bed is still in place. At night without you

I feel it quiver to put down new roots.


Grace Schulman

The Kenyon Review

July / August 2017


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